Tuesday, March 19, 2013

MxMo LXXI Roundup

Thanks to everyone that participated in this month's theme, From Crass to Craft, as well as Fred Yarm for doing a great job running Mixology Monday.  I hope everyone was able to get a little bit more perspective on how and what we consider "craft", and perhaps even gained a little respect for some ingredients we initially sneer at.  I'm sure a few of us, if not all, had a part of us die a little inside while measuring out that bottle of Buttershots, cheap schnapps or artificially flavored vodka.  Sure, some things no matter how you mix them will never be considered craft (yes glazed donut vodka, I'm speaking of you...), but to me, a true mixologist "crafts" a cocktail based on flavor profiles and how ingredients will play off one another to create something harmonious and tailored to the imbiber.  Also, making homemade infusions, liqueurs and reinventing ingredients is what being a craft mixologist is all about.

Perhaps you've been inspired on a few new cocktails for that herbaceous and anise laden bottle of Galliano?  Or, maybe Fred helped shed some light on how Jagermeister was originally intended to be imbibed and not just what all the shotty marketing and college students have done to sully its name? I think most of us, especially those whom work in the beverage industry, started our intro into this wondrous cocktail world using and/or consuming what most of us consider to be low brow ingredients now days.  And, hey, I had a lot of fun experimenting and it brought back some fond (and not so fond) memories.  Well, without further adu, here are this month's entries.  Cheers!



Cocktail author and blogger Kevin Liu from Craft Cocktails at Home created The Craft Strawberry Daiquiri which featured rum, strawberry preserves, orange flower water. These subtle variations elevate a classic cocktail, and with no blender in sight.

Tiki expert and Christmas MxMo host JFL from Rated R Cocktails dared to show me that coffee deserves to be craft and I bow to his ideology after having his interpretation of a classic Jamoca with his Daybreak Daiquiri.  JFL, I will never speak of coffee and non-craft in the same sentence ever again. 














BoozeNerds created The Black Lei which tastefully incorporates Cruzan Black Strap, a homemade bourbon butterscotch sauce and a touch of Imbue Petal & Thorn vermouth.  A truly unique and tasty entry. 





Next up Raul at Death to Sour Mix (a perfect blog for this theme I might add) came up with the Babylon Station, which is crafted from Malibu Rum, Aperol and homemade Pina syrup.  A beautiful looking drink that showcases how fruit forward cocktails can be made with great care and not taste one note.









We may have history in the making with Dan Chadwick at Kindred Cocktails using flavored vodka, coconut for that matter, in a cocktail...Though, he does make up for it with a full ounce of Campari.  But thanks so much Dan for being a good sport and making a great drink.  Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) I don't have coconut vodka so I'll try a little coconut rum and vodka mixture and try his Painmaker.  Love the name.



Next up, Mark over at Cardiff Cocktails boasts a nice tipple called The Journeyman that uses Amaretto and apricot preserves mixed perfectly with vodka, cloves and freshened up with some lemon juice.  I've been following his blog for a while now and I'm never disappointed with his creations, this one included. 






901 Very Good Cocktails author and enthusiast, Stew Ellington, proudly gives us one of his first, and still one his favorite, cocktails the Christmas Baby.  Rumpleminz (real schnapps by the way), creme de cacao, Frangelico, cream and Baileys... Crass?  Yes.  Delicious?  Damn straight.  If you've read his book, you know you can trust Stew to not steer you the wrong way.  Great job. 








Hailing from Italy, Raffelle Bellmoi at The Shorter Straw brought us an innovative twist on a classic cup, The Redemption Cup, that uses a strawberry and lemon ice ball that slowly melts into Belvedere Vodka and his honey, black pepper and chamomile infused Cointreau.  I've always loved chamomile and honey and it paired perfectly with the strawberry and triple sec.  Cheers Raffaelle. 



Fresh back from Australia, Todd Yard at Concocktails serves up a little Tiki craft in the form of the Tapu, a Polynesian word from which we get Taboo from.  I love how he takes a great theme like Tiki, and uses one of my favorite brown spirits, rye, and makes it work with coffee liqueur, coconut rum and a tsp of bitters. 



I don't know how Aaron Knoll at The Gin is In did it, but he somehow elevated Pinnacle Whipped Cream vodka into his Halja Cocktail...I'm still perplexed...It took some gusto to put it with barrel aged gin and Creme de Violette.  But I tip my hat to you sir.  Well played. 






Cocktails, Guns & Confederates threw together a lovely gin and vermouth long drink, the Little  Elizabeth Cocktail that was refreshed with Izze Grapefruit soda.  I've used Izze in the past so I know how great this stuff is and it's perfect to showcase how soda can be craft.



The venerable Putney Farm gave us a classic cocktail, The 20th Century Cocktail to be exact, that is by far a craft drink but it does use creme de cacao, which usually is made poorly and thus throws its name into the dark realm of crass liqueurs.  Thanks Stewart and Carolyn for providing a true craft classic that we still enjoy today. 

Nathan Hazard of The Chocolate of Meats gives us a variation of the classic Pegu Club Cocktail called Road to Mandalay.  Nathan uses the eponymous blue curacao that brings back memories of often poor interpretations of  true "Tiki" drinks you might find at your local Applebee's.  It's refreshing to see him remind us that true curacao is derived from the lahara fruit on the isle of Curacao and is in fact a wonderful ingredient when used properly, this one just gets hit with loads of food coloring, but does lend a beautiful color to cocktail, as seen here. 







The Boo Lion went retro and amped up that bottle of Galliano we all have sitting on our bars with the, Harvey Cherrybanger.  They balance a sweet, Kirshwasser forward cocktail with some herbaceous Cynar and bitter grapefruit juice.  A delicious concoction. 








Our Master of Ceremonies, Mr. Frederick Yarm of Cocktail Virgin Slut, took us on a tasteful lesson in herbal digestifs, namely Jagermeister.  Probably the most famous of "crass" perception of a truly fine herbal, bitter liqueur, due to all the countless Jager Bombs in our college years.  His riff on the classic Algonquin, which he names after a ritzy German hotel, the Adlon Cocktail, tames the sweet German liqueur with pineapple juice and dry vermouth. 


The Muse of Doom took on some Buttershots, much like Booze Nerds, but takes us into the realm of punch with her Butterscotch Punch.  I love how she points out her take on being cocktailian but not "craft".  You wouldn't know from her excellent cocktails, and her view is right on theme. 




Another first time MxMo participant blog, Another Cocktail Blog, brought us not just one, but two cocktails.  The Bech & Gall intermingles the rarely used Becherovka with Galliano, a touch of bourbon, lemon and demerara sugar.  I've been wanting to try this one since seeing it on Kindred Cocktails.  Finally we see the Carpool which is equal parts apple brandy, lemon juice and orange liqueur.  Great stuff. 
 

Andrea over at Gin Hound gave us a nod to her country with the Danish Highball that focuses on vanilla vodka and banana rum with a lovely homemade bitter lemon syrup.  I love how she amusingly writes that Denmark has a long history of bad long drinks and highballs, especially the story of the Old Garden.

One of my favorite home enthusiasts, Zach from The Venture Mixologists offered up an amazing sexed up rum and coke and took reinventing the overly and artificially sweetened Coke and commercial spiced rum juggernaut, Captain Morgan's, with his C-squared.


Previous MxMo host, Jordan Deveraux of Chemistry of the Cocktail, took Amaretto and rekindled the not so glamorous and overly sweet Amaretto Sours and turned it Tiki with his Amaretto Spiced Sour.  I'm looking forward to trying a rum version. 






It's great to see so many first timers and our newest participant, Madeline from Neighborhood Kitchen offers up a rich and hearty concoction with strawberry vodka and a homemade beet syrup aptly named, Berries, Beets n' Cream.  Thanks Madeline. 








Zak from The Pocket Square went the Jagermeister route and did a version of the Negroni with his Jageroni.  The Jagermeister offers up some herbal sweetness to the dry gin and bitter/citrus Campari.  Zak calls for a better name since this one sounds like a Bobby Brown flashback, no offense Zak.









Elena from Stir and Strain spiced up some neon Midori with a homemade black pepper syrup and mixed up a refreshing Collins with her Old Tom's Mistake.  She's inspired me to do some spirit dehydration, neat idea Elena. 


We got another Midori overhaul, this time from The Mix Lab and they gave us a nice Old Fashioned cocktail, Whats Old is New, using some cognac and green tea syrup.  I have amazingly enough have some green tea syrup in the fridge.  Fate perhaps? 




Orange soda gets some much needed help from tequila, lemon juice and some lychee liqueur in the Orange Ya Glad? cocktail from Mackenzie at The Spirit of Imbibing









Another MxMo host, Joseph Tkach at Measure & Stir brought us a craft version of an Oatmeal Cookie shot.  Joseph always has out of the box cocktails and beautiful presentation and he doesn't let down at all with his Artisanal Oatmeal Cookie.  Homemade creme de cacao, butterscotch and cinnamon infused bourbon, almond extract...There's a reason why they are one of my favorite craft cocktail blogs. 


BarflySF had quite the time taking the challange of making a Key Lime Pie Martini craft, especially since their is some personal history behind this drink.  It took some time but they succeeded with their updated version using cognac, homemade key lime syrup and homemade orgeat.  Nice job guys.  Plus, getting a recipe for an actual key lime pie was a nice bonus.


Finally, we have two cocktails from here at the Shake, Strain & Sip blog.  Honestly, we had like 10....but that would be just ridiculous, so we figured two would suffice and save the rest for other blogging. Hum liqueur gets some needed crafting in the Hummingbird Daisy.  And we make our own cucumber infused vodka and use in the Quintessential Cucumber Cocktail







Thanks to everyone for making this month's MxMo LXXI a great theme!  Cheers! (side note:  you'll have to forgive the formatting...was a little challenging to get all these pictures to line up)

11 comments:

  1. This was a great MxMo Theme Scott. Loved the roundup and your entries. Thanks again for hosting!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks again JFL, it was great seeing everyone dust of some old bottles and get back to our early roots of drinking and mixing. And hey, this was a sort of guilty pleasure for me. Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks again for hosting, and it's been a real favourite of mine to read through, plus some great new blogs joining too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Mark. This was a lot of fun for me to do and I was amazed at the responses and entries. Cheers!

      Delete
  4. Wow, thanks for hosting this, Scott! As one of the first-timers, it was great to join in. I think these challenges will do a lot for honing my mixing skill.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to have you on board Dale and for participating.

      Delete
  5. Wow! That's quite a roundup. Looks like I'm going to have to improve my chops and up my photography game to stay competitive.

    Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know what you mean, Measure and Stir makes me envious...

      Delete
  6. I've really got to try that Cherrybanger.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great writeup and so many interesting cocktails to try this coming weekend - thanks for an amazing round of MXMO.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, it was great to see everyone get out of if their comfort zone a bit and really take the theme to heart. Cheers.

      Delete